17 November, 2009

Google's Intriguing Software Distribution Model

I just read this article (http://tinyurl.com/yzqjmkq) regarding Google providing it's software "less than free".

Apparently Google will share ad revenue with carriers that release their phones using Google's license rather than the FOSS license. The article goes on to say that they suspect Google may do the same with Chrome OS when it comes out.

I find this whole model of software (OS?) distribution rather intriguing. It will be interesting to see how the industry reacts. Microsoft had to discount XP in order to compete with Linux in the netbook space. How will they compete with Chrome OS if Google is basically paying to preload it? Will Microsoft try to leverage Bing in the same fashion? How will this affect Apple? Apple Mac customers seem content to pay a premium, so it would seem that their PC market would be safe for the time being. Although the iPhone is already expected to be eclipsed by Android in terms of market share, what will this mean to the iPhone price point and/or margin?

In any case, it seems healthy to see in the near term. Competition is a good thing.